Many organizations are embracing agile development techniques for their DW/BI implementations. While we strongly concur with agile’s focus on business collaboration to deliver value via incremental initiatives, we’ve also witnessed agile’s “dark side.” Some teams get myopically focused on a narrowly-defined set of business requirements. They extract a limited amount of source data to develop […]

Some organizations have adopted a data warehouse architecture that includes an atomic third normal form (3NF) relational data warehouse. This architecture, often called the hub-and-spoke or Corporate Information Factory (CIF), includes a data acquisition ETL process to gather, clean and integrate data from various sources. Atomic data is loaded into third normal form data structures, […]

After years of dormancy, there have been renewed rumblings in the DW/BI industry about the Kimball versus Inmon approaches. When I mentioned the resurrected debate to a former colleague who’s been away from our industry for nearly 15 years, she replied, “Again?!” I’m experiencing a serious case of déjà vu. In fact, we’ve been contacted […]

Some clients and students lament that while they want to deliver and share consistently-defined master conformed dimensions in their data warehouse/business intelligence (DW/BI) environments, it’s “just not feasible.” They explain that they would if they could, but with senior management focused on using agile development techniques to deliver DW/BI solutions, it’s “impossible” to take the […]

Data stewards are the liaisons between business users and the data warehouse team, and they ensure consistent, accurate, well-documented and timely insight on resources and requirements. University DW/BI Best Practices Consistent data is the Holy Grail for most data warehouse initiatives, and data stewards are the crusaders who fearlessly strive toward that goal. An active […]

With the current industry buzz focused on master data management (MDM), it’s time to revisit one of the most critical elements of the Kimball method. Back in 1999, Ralph Kimball wrote an Intelligent Enterprise column entitled The Matrix. The 1999 movie of the same name spawned two sequels, but we haven’t devoted a column to […]

The Kimball bus architecture and the Corporate Information Factory: What are the fundamental differences? Based on recent inquiries, many of you are in the midst of architecting (or rearchitecting) your data warehouse. There’s no dispute that planning your data warehouse from an enterprise perspective is a good idea, but do you need an enterprise data […]

As the data warehouse market matures, the cause of data warehouse “pain” (otherwise known as vendor growth opportunity) within the IT organization is bound to evolve. Vendors promote centralization as a miracle elixir to treat data warehouse ailments. They claim it spins independent, disparate data marts into gold by reducing administrative costs and improving performance. […]

Many of you are already familiar with the data warehouse bus architecture and matrix given their central role in building architected data marts. The corresponding bus matrix identifies the key business processes of an organization, along with their associated dimensions. Business processes (typically corresponding to major source systems) are listed as matrix rows, while dimensions appear as matrix […]

Contrary to William Shakespeare and some data warehouse industry pundits, that’s NOT the question. In this article, we discuss an issue faced by maturing data mart/warehouse environments. While some organizations are newcomers to the data warehouse party, others have been at this for quite a while. As the market matures, the cause of data warehouse “pain” within the […]